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Hotel POS and PMS Systems: How to Elevate Your Guest Experiences

March 12th, 2024

Woman and man easily checking into a hotel with a front desk associate using a hotel POS and PMS system - SkyTab - Shift4

Is your hotel ready to step into the modern age? Hotel technology is revolutionizing the hospitality industry — and vastly improving guest experiences.

You can streamline hotel operations and payment processing with hotel point-of-sale (POS) systems and property management systems (PMS), respectively. This modern tech can help you to automate and centralize everything that goes into the guest experience. And, if you properly integrate them, you can elevate that experience to even greater heights.

In fact, 78% of hotel managers plan to increase their investment in hotel technology in the next two years. Are you one of them? Let’s explain exactly what hotel POS and PMS systems are and how integrating them can benefit your business.

What is a Hotel POS System?

Like any other POS system, a hotel POS system will process and manage transactions on your property. Any outlet that generates revenue for your hotel can use a point of sale system to handle sales. That includes your restaurant, gift shop, spa, poolside bar — you get the idea.

Since a POS system is a centralized platform, you can easily unify your revenue centers. Your staff can use a hotel POS system to process orders for your guests.

However, a POS system doesn’t just handle payments — it can also help you manage your business. With a hotel POS system, you can expect to see:

  • Contactless payments at the point of purchase
  • Customer loyalty and marketing tools
  • Inventory management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Versatile hardware

What is a Hotel PMS System?

While your POS system handles your sales, a PMS (property management system) handles your guest’s overall stay. A hotel PMS manages several major functions of your property, including guest management, reservations, and front-desk operations.

Like your POS system, your hotel PMS system centralizes and automates your booking services to provide guests with a fantastic experience. You can use a PMS system to handle:

  • Bookings (direct and third-party)
  • Check-in and check-out
  • Room assignments
  • Folio management
  • Occupancy reports
  • Guest requests and preferences
  • Housekeeping management

Seems pretty important, right? Well, 86% of hoteliers agree — they say that their PMS is their most important system for day-to-day operations. Without it, the main functions of your hotel become more of a hassle.

Exploring the Synergy between POS and PMS Systems

Both POS and PMS systems are integral to your hotel business — but they do even more when they work together. There are a couple of different ways that your hotel POS and PMS systems can synchronize to improve the guest experience.

Centralized Guest Accounts

Connecting your POS and PMS systems can help to create a centralized guest account. What does this mean for your hotel? Guest billing information from each touchpoint on your property can be automatically added to the guest’s existing account.

For example, let’s say that a guest has just enjoyed a meal at your hotel restaurant. Your restaurant POS system will notify your PMS of the charge, leading the PMS to match the guest’s information with their room and automatically assign the charge to their folio.

But what does this mean for your guest? With this synchronization, your guest doesn’t have to worry about taking their wallet out to pay for every service they utilize on your property. They can sit back, relax, and enjoy their stay without having to worry about payments — and they can rest assured that they’ll be charged accurately at check-out.

Comprehensive Folios

Second, connected POS and PMS systems can improve the folio you provide guests at checkout. Since all the charges incurred throughout their stay are represented on the same folio, guests can get a more coherent picture of their experience and what they spent. Folios can even include extra upgrade charges that guests requested during their stay.

Since the folios you provide will be transparent, your staff will have fewer complaints about billing errors or surprise charges. And your guests will have a much cleaner experience. Plus, guests can establish a pre-authorized spending limit for the account at check-in to prevent any check-out surprises.

Guest Insights

Since your POS system gathers information about your guests’ purchases, and your PMS system connects that data to the guest’s stay, you can quickly generate reports and gain insights about your guests’ behavior.

For example, you can identify which segment of your guests gravitate towards specific services on your property. Do you find that your older guests spend more at your restaurant while your younger guests spend more at your spa? With this data, you can better inform your staff on how to upsell during check-in.

Benefits of Integrating POS and PMS Systems

Graphic representing hotel POS and PMS systems - SkyTab - Shift4 While it’s evident that integrated POS and PMS systems can be a major asset, let's dive into the specific benefits you can expect.

Easier Upselling

You want your guests to take advantage of your on-site amenities, right? Well, if your PMS and POS aren’t synced, this experience can be clunky and inefficient. On your staff’s end, it can be challenging to upsell a spa treatment if they can’t add that charge to the guest’s running folio. On the guest’s end, they’ll have to deal with multiple charges or receipts, making them less willing to agree to the extra service.

With an integrated hotel POS and PMS, extra services can be added seamlessly, making it easier for your staff to sell them to guests. Packages are easier to sell, too, since your POS and PMS are working together to manage it all in the same place.

Improved Customer Experience

Reducing the friction customers experience at each touchpoint during their stay is crucial. If they have to constantly pull out their wallet to pay at different locations on your property, or if they have to worry about the accuracy of their bill at the end of their stay, they’re less likely to have a great experience.

Integrated hotel POS and PMS systems communicate with each other in real-time to prevent this from happening. All of your guest’s data is synced across your systems, giving your guests peace of mind while they relax.

Organized Billing

Is your check-out process long and tedious? Are folios sometimes inaccurate, leading to frustrated customers? That can all be a thing of the past with integrated POS and PMS systems. Not only is it easier for your staff to keep track of your guest’s charges, but it’s also easier for your guests to check out and settle those charges at the end of their stay.

Plus, with POS integration, you can accept payments from guests much more easily. Rather than be limited by your PMS’s offering, you can use a POS system to accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, checks, and digital wallets.

Selecting the Right Hotel POS and PMS System

Now that you understand just how functional integrated POS and PMS systems can be, you may want to jump straight into choosing a provider. However, you should evaluate your options and select the best solutions for your business.

Let’s dive into the most important things you should consider when choosing hotel POS and PMS systems.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Hotel POS System

While there are many POS solutions on the market, not all are created equal. You must choose a modern POS system with up-to-date features that can support your hotel business needs.

  • Mobile Technology: If you want to accept payments anywhere on your property, you need a mobile POS solution. From the pool deck to the spa, your staff should have a mobile ordering and payment solution to provide guests with a seamless and modern experience.
  • Reservations & Waitlists: If your property has a restaurant, whether it’s table service or poolside, you need a restaurant POS system to manage reservations and waitlists. Making it easy for guests to reserve a table — and empowering your staff with real-time availability — can seriously impact your hotel’s service.
  • Contactless Solutions: The pandemic exploded the desire for a contactless experience in every service industry. In fact, 81.7% of hotel managers implemented at least one technology during the pandemic, and most were contactless solutions. Your POS solution should support a contactless experience with QR code and NFC payments.
  • Labor Management: Your POS system shouldn’t just be a high-tech cash register. It should also enable you to manage operations, including your labor. Choose a POS system that helps you to optimize every shift, keep track of schedules, and monitor labor costs.
  • PMS System Integration: While it seems obvious, third-party integration support is one of the most essential features that your POS system should include if you plan on integrating with a PMS system. Your POS solution should support the most popular PMS systems, including Stayntouch, eZee, Opera 5, and Opera Cloud.

If you’re looking for a POS solution that comes with all of the above features — and much more — then SkyTab may be the right solution for your business.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Hotel PMS System

Just like your POS system, your hotel PMS system of choice should be able to support your business’s needs. The PMS system you choose for your hotel should include the following key features.

  • Reservations & Booking Solutions: An essential feature that your PMS system should include is front desk services. Your staff needs to book rooms, check guests in and out, see real-time room availability, monitor housekeeping, and manage rates. Plus, your PMS solution should include support for direct online booking through your website.
  • Self-Service Guest Solutions: Guests want more control over their experiences — and you need to offer that. Nearly ¾ of guests want to book reservations, check in, and order room service on their phones. By providing self-service check-in and check-out online or on mobile, you can give guests the power they want while cutting down on labor needs.
  • Cloud-Based Software: While your PMS doesn’t need to be cloud-based, this software has many benefits. Cloud-based PMS allows you to access the software anywhere, from computers to mobile apps. Some PMS systems, like Oracle Cloud, even offer a Digital Assistant that staff can use to gather data or perform tasks quickly.
  • Channel Management: Considering Booking.com recently saw 716 million website visits in a single month, it’s clear that your hotel should be on booking websites. Keeping track of bookings across multiple channels can be complex, but a PMS system with channel management features can make it all simpler.
  • Insights & Reporting: The value of real-time metrics for your business can’t be overstated. Your PMS should include analytic tools to monitor revenue, guest behavior, occupancy, etc. You should also be able to generate custom reports based on your KPIs. With this data, you can make better decisions about your business.

These are just a few of the most essential features to look out for when choosing a PMS solution.

Moving Forward

Are you prepared to level up your hotel’s technology? With the right hotel PMS and POS solutions — and seamless integration between the two, your hotel will be set up for success. Thanks to these technologies, your business can benefit from:

  • Improved guest experiences
  • Streamlined services
  • Complete folios for better billing
  • Effortless upselling
  • Real-time reporting and analytics

And much more! If you’re ready for a POS solution that can meet your hotel’s needs, then schedule a SkyTab demo today. This supercharged tech isn’t just a POS system. It integrates seamlessly with top-of-the-line PMS systems to achieve a truly next-gen experience.